7 Parenting Tips to Teach Digital Literacy for Kids and Keep Them Safe Online

7 Parenting Tips to Teach Digital Literacy for Kids and Keep Them Safe Online

Today’s article covers everything you need to know about digital literacy for kids!

In today’s world of smartphones and always being online, kids need to know more than just digital citizenship.

It’s just as crucial to help them learn how to use digital tech responsibly in a way that keeps them safe online.

Keep reading to learn how to empower your little ones to understand, interpret, and navigate the online world safely.

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7 Parenting Tips to Teach Digital Literacy for Kids and Keep Them Safe Online

All About Digital Literacy for Kids

Before we jump into the parenting tips, it’s important to understand what digital literacy is.

Digital literacy is not just how to use a device, it means having the smarts to make the most out of the internet in a way that’s safe and responsible.

It’s thinking critically about online content, understanding privacy risks of sharing information, and communicating respectfully and effectively on the internet.

Use these parenting tips to teach your kids about important skills like commenting online, checking your sources, fun ways to learn digital literacy, and more!

Related: What to Say Instead of Be Careful: 50 Great Things to Say Instead of Be Careful

Digital Literacy for Kids: Encourage Safe Online Behavior

The internet can be a vast tool full of fun things to learn, but it’s not all kid-friendly.

It’s super important to teach kids the right way to behave online and keep them safe.

Digital Literacy for Kids: Encourage Safe Online Behavior
via nist.gov
  1. Creating Strong Passwords: Teach kids to make strong, unique passwords for their accounts to keep their info safe from prying eyes.
  2. Respecting Privacy: Your kids need to know to get permission before sharing someone else’s personal stuff or photos online. It’s all about respecting other people’s privacy.
  3. Identifying and Avoiding Scams: Show them how to spot sketchy links, offers, and emails. Remind them not to click on random links or give out their info to just anyone.

Digital Literacy for Kids: Teach Digital Footprint Management

Every click, post, and search contributes to your child’s digital footprint.

Because this is such an abstract thing that can be hard for kids to understand, use these tips to help your kids understand the permanence of their online actions.

  1. Posting on Social Media: Explain to children that once a photo or comment is posted online, it can be shared and seen by a wide audience, far beyond their circle of friends and family. It’s essential to think about the content they share and how it reflects on them.
  2. Online Searches and Visits: Children should be aware that their online searches and the websites they visit can be tracked and might influence the ads and content they see in the future.
  3. Gaming and App Usage: Many games and apps require personal information or track in-game activity. Teaching kids to be mindful of the permissions and data they agree to share can help manage their digital footprint.


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    Digital Literacy for Kids: Critical Thinking Online

    In an era of information overload, kids must learn to figure out the reliability of online resources and distinguish between facts and opinions.

    1. Checking Sources: Teach kids to spot signs that an online source is trustworthy, like having known authors, fresh publication dates, and links to solid research or proof. This skill is key to making sure the stuff they read and share is spot-on and dependable.
    2. News vs. Opinion: Help kids get the difference between news articles, aiming to give the straight facts, and opinion pieces, which are all about the writer’s personal take. Understanding this helps them form more rounded opinions.
    3. Spotting Bias: Encourage them to keep an eye out for any bias in what they find online. By noticing words that might show a one-sided story or info that sounds too perfect, they can better judge how reliable and unbiased the content is.

    Digital Literacy for Kids: Comprehension of Online Texts

    With information often coming at them in bite-sized, hyperlinked bits, children need strategies for deep reading to build understanding and retention.

    Benefits of Digital Literacy for Kids: Comprehension of Online Texts
    via fastercapital.com
    1. Highlighting Key Points: Just like marking the best scenes in your favorite book, encourage kids to highlight or jot down the key points while they read online. This little trick makes it way easier to remember the essentials, especially when they’re drowning in info.
    2. Summarize in Your Own Words: After reading a chunk of text, ask them to sum it up like they’re telling a friend about a cool new game or movie. This not just ensures they got the gist but also makes it stick better in their memory.
    3. Connecting the Dots: Have them think of how what they’re reading online connects to stuff they already know or have read elsewhere. It’s like linking up different levels in a video game, making their understanding of the topic stronger and more rounded.

    Related: 100+ Amazing Unschooling Supplies for All Ages

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    Related: Homeschool Lesson Plan Template: 10 Important Things for Your First Day Homeschooling

    Digital Literacy for Kids: Develop Research and Information Sorting Skills

    While information is readily available, the skill lies in effectively finding, evaluating, and using the Internet as a tool.

    1. Google Like a Pro: Teach kids to use different keywords, advanced search options, and filters while looking for specific information online. This helps them get closer to the most reliable sources and saves time.
    2. Learn Different Source Types: Introduce kids to the different types of sources, like primary and secondary sources. This helps them understand the credibility of a source and how it may affect the reliability of information.
    3. Identify Credible Sources: Teach kids how to differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources of information. This can include understanding bias, fact-checking capabilities, and author credentials.

    Digital Literacy for Kids: Promote Ethical Digital Practices

    From understanding copyright to knowing when to cite sources, instilling a sense of ethics in digital spaces is key for your child’s integrity.

    1. Be a Privacy Pro: Like putting a lock on a diary, make sure your private stuff stays private online. Kids need help learning how to adjust settings to control who sees what and remember, not everything needs to be shared with the world.
    2. Copy Carefully: Ever heard “Sharing is caring”? Well, when it comes to the web, it’s more like “Sharing with credit is caring.” Teach kids how to credit their sources.
    3. Ad Block Like a Boss: Ads can be annoying, but they also can be sneaky with tracking what you do online. Get savvy with ad blockers to keep your browsing to yourself, but don’t forget to whitelist the good sites that respect your privacy and are ad-supported.

    Digital Literacy for Kids: Support Creative and Constructive Online Engagement

    By focusing on these approaches, kids can enjoy all the great opportunities for creativity, learning, and connection that the internet provides, while staying safe and contributing to a positive online community.

    • Navigate Online Spaces Safely: This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills kids can learn today! When online, whether commenting on YouTube, taking pictures on snapchat, or sharing content, remember to be kind and respectful. Avoid online bullying by thinking before you post or respond and report any negative behavior you see. Get permission to post pictures, personal stories, etc. of friends and others.
    • Create Positively and Share With Care: If your kid is thinking about starting a blog, a vlog, or creating digital art, they should go for it! It’s a wonderful way to express yourself and share your interests. However, make sure to share content that’s positive and constructive. Remember, what you put out there can have an impact, so aim to inspire and uplift others.
    • Join Supportive Communities: The internet is full of communities for virtually every interest imaginable. When joining these groups, look for spaces that are known for being supportive and positive. Engage respectfully, and contribute to making the community a welcoming place for everyone. It’s a fantastic way to make connections, learn, and grow in a safe environment.

    Fun Ways to Teach Kids Digital Literacy

    Fun Ways to Teach Kids Digital Literacy
    1. Interland: Be Internet Awesome by Google
    2. Cyberwise Digital Citizenship Game
    3. Interactive Digital Games on Kahoot
    4. Digital Citizenship Games and Videos on BrainPop
    5. Baamboozle Online Games

    Plus, a great book for parents about kid’s digital literacy!

    Fun Ways to Teach Kids Digital Literacy: Life Skills for Kids in a Digital World Book by Amy Daniels
    1. Life Skills for Kids in a Digital World by Amy Daniels

    That’s Everything You Need to Know About Digital Literacy for Kids!

    To get our kids ready for the future, we need to hook them up with the right tools and advice today.

    These seven tips are all about boosting digital literacy, making sure that as our little ones tap and scroll, they’re using tech in ways that are good for their safety, growth, and best interests.

    I really hope these tips help you to feel confident when teaching safe digital literacy for kids!

    Before You Go, Comment Below!

    Have you tried any of these out? Do you have your own tricks up your sleeve?

    Drop a comment below and let me know!

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